Where do we start?
In order to design a great logo we need to understand the basic purpose of a logo. Why do companies need a logo? To solve this question I took a look at the meaning of the word logo. This is the definition according to Wikipedia:
A logo is a graphic mark or emblem commonly used by commercial enterprises, organizations and even individuals to aid and promote instant public recognition.
The most important words in this phrase are ‘instant public recognition’. A good logo is easily recognized and can’t be confused with other logos. When you see it in a magazine, on a website or on a billboard, you instantly know the company behind it.
Of course this is easier said than done. What makes a logo instantly recognizable? Perhaps we can find the answer to this question by examining the logos of popular brands. What do the logos from world famous brands such as Nike, Coca Cola and McDonals have in common?
Less is more. This famous saying is illustrated by these great logos. They don’t rely on complex shapes and stylish gradients. Instead they use only the bare essentials. A simple logo is usually a memorable logo and a memorable logo is a good logo. But don’t make it too simple. Your logo still has to stand out from the rest.
Every logo should be flexible when it comes to application and color. Your logo will be used on various media (print, online, mobile…) so it should be versatile enough to ensure a consistent presentation. Keep in mind that your logo will not always be printed in full color, so make sure that it has plenty of contrast to allow for black and white printing.
Companies can use various types of communication channels; from small flyers to big billboards. This means that the size of your logo will vary depending on the medium it is printed on. That’s why a logo should be designed in vector format. Use vector-based programs (such as Adobe Illustrator) to design scale-proof logo. So no matter what they say; size does matter (at least in logo design).
Finally we need to understand that a logo never stands on its own. It’s part of a bigger picture: the brand’s identity. This is not only the logo and stationary of the brand but also the philosophy behind it. It represents the values of the company. For example: the WWF logo shows us that the company cares about wildlife. And if you’ve read our article about hidden messages in logos, you’ll know that the Amazon logo symbolises their extensive collection of products.
What’s your opinion?
What do you consider essential elements for a great logo? Post a comment and share it with the rest of us!